Spring Pea & Prosciutto Pasta Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Spring Pea & Prosciutto Pasta Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Enjoy the essence of spring with this Spring Pea & Prosciutto Pasta Salad, drizzled with a zesty Honey Lemon Vinaigrette. Tender peas, salty prosciutto, and al dente pasta create a delightful harmony of flavors and textures. The sweet honey and tangy lemon in the vinaigrette elevate the dish, making it a perfect choice for a light lunch or refreshing side.

Why You’ll Love it:

  • Fresh- this pasta salad is bursting with fresh, seasonal ingredients like tender spring peas and zesty lemon, making it a delightful dish that celebrates the flavors of spring.
  • Versatility– whether you serve it as a light lunch, a side dish, or even as a refreshing entrée, this salad is incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed on any occasion.
  • Flavor harmony- the combination of sweet peas, salty prosciutto, and tangy vinaigrette creates a perfect balance of flavors.
  • Easy to Make– this salad is simple to prepare, making it a great option for busy weeknights or lazy weekends when you want something delicious without spending hours in the kitchen.
ingredients for spring pea salad

Ingredient Notes:

  • Peas– opt for fresh peas when they’re in season for the best flavor and texture. If fresh peas aren’t available, frozen peas work well too. Just be sure to thaw them before adding to the salad.
  • Prosciutto– thinly sliced prosciutto adds a delicate salty flavor to the salad. You can usually find it at the deli counter or pre-packaged in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.
  • Pasta– choose a short pasta shape such as shells, fusilli, farfalle, or penne for this salad. These shapes hold the dressing and other ingredients well, ensuring each bite is flavorful.
  • Spring Mix- combination of tender, young salad greens such as baby lettuces, spinach, arugula, and other delicate greens. Adding a handful of spring mix to your salad can introduce a variety of flavors and textures, from peppery arugula to mild butter lettuce. It can also contribute to the salad’s visual appeal with its vibrant colors and delicate leaves.
  • Parmesan Cheese– adds a rich, nutty flavor and a salty kick to the salad. You can sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the salad just before serving or toss it with the other ingredients to ensure it’s evenly distributed throughout the dish.
  • Honey Lemon Vinaigrette– for the vinaigrette, use high-quality honey and fresh lemon juice for the best results. You can adjust the sweetness and tartness to your liking by adding more or less honey and lemon juice, respectively.

Substitutions & Variations:

  • Fresh Herbs– adding some chopped fresh herbs like parsley, basil, or mint can elevate the salad’s flavor profile and add a pop of color.
  • Crunchy Additions– incorporate some toasted pine nuts, chopped pistachios, or slivered almonds for added crunch and nuttiness.
  • Cheese Substitutions– if you don’t have Parmesan cheese on hand or prefer a different type of cheese, you can substitute it with crumbled feta cheese, grated aged cheddar, or creamy goat cheese.
  • Citrus Variations– instead of lemon juice, you can use lime juice or orange juice in the vinaigrette for a different citrus flavor. You can also add some zest from the citrus fruit to enhance the aroma and flavor of the dressing.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Option– omit the prosciutto and Parmesan cheese for a vegetarian version of the salad. Also, replace honey with agave for a vegan version. You can enhance the flavor by adding grilled or roasted vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, or zucchini.
  • Gluten-Free Option– use gluten-free pasta to make the salad gluten-free. There are many varieties of gluten-free pasta available, such as brown rice pasta, quinoa pasta, or chickpea pasta, which work well in pasta salads.
spring pea salad with lemon dressing

How to Make Spring Pasta Salad:

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Add cut asparagus pieces to pot and boil 2-3 minutes until tender. Using a slotted spoon or skimmer, scoop asparagus from boiling water and into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  • Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to the directions on the package. Once cooked, drain pasta using a colander and rinse with cool water. Allow to drain well.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add spring mix, cooked pasta, asparagus, peas, shredded prosciutto, and shaved Parmesan. Toss to combine.
  • Whisk together all dressing ingredients. Pour half of the dressing onto salad, and toss again to combine. Add more dressing to taste. Serve immediately or chilled.
spring pea and prosciutto salad

Tips & Recipe Notes:

  • Be sure to cook the pasta al dente, which means it should be tender but still have a slight firmness to it. Overcooked pasta can become mushy and affect the texture of the salad.
  • Peas can be eaten raw or blanched for more tenderness. After blanching the peas in boiling water, immediately transfer them to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. This helps preserve their vibrant green color and crisp texture.
  • If using frozen peas, allow to thaw before adding to salad.
  • You can prepare the components of the salad ahead of time and assemble it just before serving. Cook the pasta, blanch the asparagus & peas, and prepare the vinaigrette in advance, then store them separately in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble the salad.
  • To prevent the salad from becoming soggy, toss it with the honey lemon vinaigrette just before serving. This ensures that the pasta and other ingredients are coated evenly with the dressing while maintaining their texture and freshness.
  • Taste the salad before serving and adjust the seasoning if necessary. You can add more salt, pepper, lemon juice, or honey to the vinaigrette according to your taste preferences.
  • This salad can be served chilled straight from the refrigerator or at room temperature, depending on your preference. Just be sure to give it a good toss before serving to redistribute the ingredients and dressing.
spring pea and prosciutto pasta salad

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spring pea and prosciutto salad

Spring Pea & Prosciutto Pasta Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Enjoy the essence of spring with this Spring Pea & Prosciutto Pasta Salad, drizzled with a zesty Honey Lemon Vinaigrette. Tender peas, salty prosciutto, and al dente pasta create a delightful harmony of flavors and textures. The sweet honey and tangy lemon in the vinaigrette elevate the dish, making it a perfect choice for a light lunch or refreshing side.
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Salad
Servings 4
Calories 283 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup asparagus trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup short cut pasta
  • 3 cups spring mix
  • 4-6 slices prosciutto
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup spring peas thawed if frozen/see notes below

Dressing:

  • 1/4 olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic 1 clove
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Add cut asparagus pieces to pot and boil 2-3 minutes until tender. Using a slotted spoon or skimmer, scoop asparagus from boiling water and into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  • Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to the directions on the package. Once cooked, drain pasta using a colander and rinse with cool water. Allow to drain well.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add spring mix, cooked pasta, asparagus, peas, shredded prosciutto, and shaved Parmesan. Toss to combine.
  • Whisk together all dressing ingredients. Pour half of the dressing onto salad, and toss again to combine. Add more dressing to taste. Serve immediately or chilled.

Notes

  • Peas- can be eaten raw or blanched for more tenderness.
    • After blanching the peas in boiling water, immediately transfer them to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. This helps preserve their vibrant green color and crisp texture.
    • If using frozen peas, allow to thaw before adding to salad.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Option– omit the prosciutto and Parmesan cheese for a vegetarian version of the salad. Also, replace honey with agave for a vegan version. You can enhance the flavor by adding grilled or roasted vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, or zucchini.
  • Gluten-Free Option– use gluten-free pasta to make the salad gluten-free. There are many varieties of gluten-free pasta available, such as brown rice pasta, quinoa pasta, or chickpea pasta, which work well in pasta salads.
  • Nutritional Information is an estimate only and will vary according to specific ingredients and amounts used.

Nutrition

Calories: 283kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 11.6gFat: 18.1gSaturated Fat: 4.3gCholesterol: 19.7mgSodium: 485.3mgFiber: 2.6gSugar: 8.1g
Keyword spring pasta salad
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